#SensoryStories: 10+ Kids Books About Sensory Differences

#SensoryStories: 10+ Kids Books About Sensory Differences 1

Authors, illustrators, educators, and advocates come together to raise awareness of sensory differences for Sensory Awareness Month.

Authors, illustrators, educators, and advocates come together to raise awareness of sensory differences for Sensory Awareness Month.

Each of us participating in this #SensoryStories campaign all have a similar goal — to help children and their families understand themselves better and get support for their sensory needs!”

— Lindsey Rowe Parker, campaign creator and author

RICHMOND, VA, UNITED STATES, September 1, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — We all know the 5 senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. Did you know there are 3 more? These three lesser-known senses affect us every day. They are: Vestibular, Proprioception, and Interoception.

1 in 6 children struggles daily with sensory processing challenges. Sensory processing refers to the mechanisms of how we feel. It is how we use what we sense to make sense of the world around us, and it underpins every aspect of human functioning. Everyone processes sensation. The sensory messages we receive from our bodies and the world around us are responded to in every single thing we do in life.

This can sometimes look like behavioral challenges, when in fact it is related to how we are processing the world around us.

“We all feel sensory input differently — but it’s hard to imagine what it’s like living in the body of people with experiences different than our own. Some people love riding on roller coasters and others get physically ill from them. Some people love spicy food and others prefer things blander. Some people enjoy a nice back scratch and others are tickled by the same kind of touch. In all of these examples, there’s no “right” or “wrong” side, just differences in the way each person processes the sensory input which leads to different preferences.” Caitlyn Berry, OTR/L Occupational Therapist, Pediatric Therapy

The aim of the #SensoryStories campaign is to increase mainstream understanding of the importance of sensory integration and processing.

“Each of us participating in this #SensoryStories campaign all have a similar goal — to help children and their families understand themselves better and get support for their sensory needs! Looking across the kid lit industry currently and seeing some wonderful new and recent titles not only addressing these differences, but coming from a place of understanding and compassion, I thought this was a great opportunity to come together to amplify these stories,” says Lindsey Rowe Parker, campaign creator and neurodivergent author of Wiggles Stomps and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down.

“When a child’s brain processes certain sounds, smells, or physical sensations differently, they’re often met with reprimand, as if it’s a behavioral choice on the child’s part. Sensory differences are often misunderstood and frequently ignored. Representative books not only normalize different experiences, they also grow the garden of understanding, so children can process the world they live in the way they need to,” says Merriam Saunders, LMFT psychotherapist and author of My Whirling Twirling Motor, My Wandering Dreaming Mind, and Trouble with a Tiny T.

“Kids books that explore sensory differences are a great way for kids to find the language they need to express how they’re feeling better and understand themselves more easily,” adds Rebecca Burgess, autistic illustrator of Wiggles, Stomps and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down. “I wish as a kid I’d had access to books like these, I think I could’ve communicated better to adults around me what I was feeling and what I needed.”

“Not only are there minimal resources in general, but there are also minimal resources that are specifically written for children. Without children’s books and other kid-friendly content, how can our children learn about sensory processing and understand it?” says Nicole Filippone, autistic author of two sensory stories, Rosalee the Seeker and Alexander the Avoider. “Books like ours help children understand that their needs are valid and nothing to feel badly about.”

“As a speech-language pathologist, I’m always looking for books that allow my students to see themselves and their classmates represented on the page, experience new things about the world around them, and make connections,” says Kelsey Brown, SLP and author of Come On, Calm.

“It’s important to have books that empower kids with sensory differences to help them feel seen, known, and loved. We want to empower our kids to be their own best advocate.” – Christia DeShields, Author of Sensory Seeking Sebastian

“I think sensory stories are so important because up until far too recently most people have had no understanding or awareness whatsoever about what sensory processing is and how drastically it can affect our lives. I’ve seen nothing but positive changes in my children and my own life ever since we’ve begun the journey of trying to understand sensory processing.” Jacinta Read, illustrator of STAR Institute’s Sensory Stories.

“I write so that neurodivergent kids with sensory differences like my own can see themselves in books. I write the books I didn’t know I needed, but I wish I had, growing up as an undiagnosed autistic girl with sensory differences.” Jen Malia, Author of TOO STICKY!

“It’s important to show children that some people experience the world differently. To teach openness and acceptance. There is beauty in neurodiversity. They deserve to be understood and celebrated.” Anne Alcott, author and illustrator of When Things Get Too Loud.

“Storytime should be inclusive of all students. This means picking books with main characters from different cultures and family structures, those with differing abilities, and those who use accessibility tools such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, and feeding tubes. This also includes sensory stories. This is a great place to start for educators and administrators wanting to better understand and support neurodivergent students, and those with sensory needs.” Meghan Ashburn, education consultant, author and host of That Au-Some Book Club.

“As a special education teacher, I write stories that highlight ways in which we can modify the environment and provide the right tools so that children can thrive in their own way.” – Aneta Cruz, educator and author of Juan Has The Jitters.

“Inclusive children’s books are imperative for all children,” says Dana Young-Askew, author of Come Meet Drayden. “Showing disabled and diverse characters ensures that kids feel seen. Kids want to see themselves as a part of the narrative. They want to know they belong. Representation builds confidence and affirms who you are. Representation matters.”

For more information about the #SensoryStories campaign visit: wigglesstompsandsqueezes.com

Lindsey Parker
Wiggles Stomps and Squeezes
+1 805-815-7693
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#SensoryStories: 10+ Kids Books About Sensory Differences 2